Arts and Entertainment

By Sean Smith Special to the BIR Fair play. To Northern Irish singer-songwriter and activist Tommy Sands, it’s “kind of a throwaway phrase that people use a lot – but it’s a meaningful one.” In fact, it is a lack of fair play – the idea of treating... Read more
Belonging to Each Other, a Falmouth non-profit that helps provide housing, food and other needed services to homeless people, will hold its third annual benefit gala on September 12 at St. Barnabas Church in Falmouth, featuring a performance by Cork... Read more
Four Greater Boston teen musicians – and 8,000 other competitors – are heading to Drogheda for Fleadh 2019 BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR The four of them have each been to the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil at least once, and they’re all set to go again.... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH Liz Carroll and Jake Charron, “Half Day Road” • Yeah, I thought there’d been something missing these last several years: Last time Liz Carroll released a new album was 2013, back when the Patriots still only had three Super Bowl titles. That... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH This month’s offerings of Greater Boston/Eastern Massachusetts Irish and Celtic-related events will include a busy weekend at the Irish Cultural Centre of New England and, up on the North Shore, the inaugural Rockport Celtic Festival. •The... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR I recently had the unique opportunity to attend the Riverdance Academy Summer School Program on the campus of Boston University. Rest assured I was not there as a dancer, but as an observer. It proved to be an... Read more
By Sean Smith Kilfenora Céilí Band, “Both Sides Now” • Talk about longevity: The Kilfenora Céilí Band’s origins date to the dawn of the ceili band era itself, and even before – there are references as far back as 1888 of a fife and drum band in Kilfenora... Read more
By R. J. Donovan Special to the BIR If your summer vacation plans include a trip to New York City this month, you’ve got some great theatrical entertainment choices. “The Ferryman,” playing at the Bernard Jacobs Theater on West 45th Street, just won The... Read more
By Sean Smith Special to the BIR At their worst, band slogans and taglines can be unenlightening or overly hyperbolic: “Changing what you thought you knew about music!” or “Guaranteed to melt faces for generations to come!” But the New England-based... Read more
By Sean Smith Special to the BIR Gigs have been few and far between for Ship in the Clouds, a Boston-based traditional Irish music quartet that formed last year. Given, however, that its three Boston members are working at pretty demanding full-time jobs... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR From a purely transportational standpoint, the Friel Sisters’ recent stay in the Boston area had its difficulties: They arrived late for their sound check at one gig, and a few days before going back home to the UK, they... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham is kicking off its summer season with the musical “Mame,” playing June 13 – June 23. Mame Dennis, aka Auntie Mame, is an effervescent, uninhibited, single New Yorker who lives life to the... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR April was a cruel month indeed for Boston’s Irish music community, as word circulated that three area Irish sessions were coming to an end, including, arguably, the most iconic of them all, the Monday gathering at the... Read more
BY SEAN SMITHThe Outside Track, “Rise Up” • The pan-Celtic, intercontinental quintet is back with a new album, and another alteration to its lineup: Scotland’s Michael Ferrie has replaced German-Irish guitarist Cillian O’Dalaigh; this comes after Cork... Read more
CD REVIEWS BY SEAN SMITH Flook, “Ancora” • One of the truly inimitable Irish music acts to come out of the 1990s, Flook released three marvelous albums between 1995 and 2005, then broke the hearts of their multitude of fans by disbanding three years later... Read more
The Burren Backroom series has another full calendar of Irish/Celtic music, starting on May 5 with a 4 p.m. matinee performance featuring a pair of spousal duos. West Coast-based Noctambule is Marla Fibish and Bruce Victor, a quiet but steady presence in... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR When it comes to World War I, Martin Butler will give you fair warning. “I can talk about it for hours,” says the Tipperary-born musician and singer who has been active in the Boston-area Irish music scene for years. There... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR There are, of course, many reasons why Celtic musicians decide to team up. What brought the Boston-based duo Rakish – fiddler Maura Shawn Scanlin and guitarist Conor Hearn – together was less an affinity for hot fiddle... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR Karola Ruth Siegel was born in Wiesenfeld, Germany in 1928. Not too many years later, she watched as her father was dragged off by the Nazis. With hundreds of other children, she was shipped off, alone, to an orphanage... Read more

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